We were chatting happily over a glorious pint or two in our pub of choice when my colleague happened to mention the subject of colour.
I’m half colour-blind, I confided.
Jesus, So am I, he blurted. It’s a pain in the arse.
It certainly is, I agreed. My colour-blindness has prevented me from becoming a fighter pilot or a doctor.
Really? he said. What do fighter pilots and doctors have in common?
When they kill people, nobody blames them.
True, he agreed. I wanted to be an interior designer and colour consultant, like the ones on the telly, but I was shite at colours.
Not great if you want to be a colour consultant, I offered.
No, he agreed, it’s like wanting to play for Manchester United but being shite at football. That’s very unfair.
It is, I concurred. We need equality laws to force Manchester United not to discriminate against people who are shite at football.
True, he said. And the government needs to redefine colours so that people like us —
—with disabilities, I interjected.
— with colour deficiency, can lead a normal life.
Good idea, I said. What are your plans?
All colours in future are red, green, blue, yellow, white or black. That’s enough for anyone.
The women won’t like it, I warned.
No. For every colour a man knows, women have twenty different names, and most of them are about food.
Cherry. Salmon. Aubergine. Strawberry. Lemon. Chocolate. Cream. Mint. Raspberry. Carrot. Olive. Do you want me to go on?
Stop, he shouted. It’s driving me crazy. Let me ask you this. What the fuck is turquoise?
I don’t know.
Look, he said. If men decided to use food colours, what would happen?
You’d come in here with a load of shopping bags, and you’d say, Look at these divine work-boots I got. Steel toe-cap, nail-proof sole, and they’re in a lovely shade of Guinness black.
Now that you mention it, I said, did you see my new jacket? It’s porridge-coloured.
Lovely, he said. I got a really nice pair of fried-steak jeans and a lovely smoked bacon t-shirt. But to get back to my point, what’s Teal?
They will beat you if you try to mess with their colours, I warned him. Why don’t we just stick with being idiot colour-blind men?
Why not? he conceded after a minute’s thought. By the way, I love your waistcoat.
Really? I was thrilled. It’s a very rare shade of haddock.